The eyes provide one of the most important senses in your body, yet most people don't pay proper attention to eye care. For instance, if you don't have regular eye wellness exams, diseases like glaucoma may strike, and you will only know about their presence when damage has already been done.
At San Antonio Eye & Face Institute in Texas, we are here to set the record straight about glaucoma, one of the leading causes of blindness, especially among the elderly. Here is what you need to know about glaucoma.
What Is Glaucoma?
It's a group of diseases that damage the optic nerve—the nerve that relays signals from the brain—due to pressure buildup in the eye. If glaucoma isn't treated early, it can lead to vision loss.
There are several types of glaucoma, but the most common is open-angle glaucoma. This condition occurs when the drainage channels in your eye clog over time, leading to pressure buildup in the eye. Acute angle glaucoma occurs when there is a sudden blockage of drainage in your eyes, causing an abrupt buildup in eye pressure.
Symptoms of Glaucoma
Glaucoma is well known as a silent thief of sight because you often won’t know you have it until it is too late. Due to its sneaky nature, seeing an eye doctor is often necessary because they can spot glaucoma symptoms early enough.
The common symptoms of glaucoma include:
- Eye pain
- Severe headache
- Eye redness
- Loss of peripheral vision
- Tunnel vision
If you notice one or a combination of the above symptoms, you need to book an appointment immediately for treatment before it's too late.
What Are the Risk Factors of Glaucoma?
Because glaucoma can destroy your sight before you even see any signs, beware of these risk factors:
- Age: As you get older, the risk is greater.
- Race: Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians are at increased risk of glaucoma.
- Family history: If one of your family members has glaucoma, you must get tested regularly.
- Medical history: Any history of eye pressure, eye injury, or eye surgery increases the risk of glaucoma.
- Gender: Women are more prone to glaucoma than men.
How Is Glaucoma Diagnosed?
Glaucoma can be detected in a routine eye test long before the symptoms manifest. Vision tests and testing your eye pressure are effective diagnostic tools to establish the presence of glaucoma. If your eye doctor notices signs of glaucoma, they should refer you to an ophthalmologist to discuss your treatment.
It's not possible to reverse the damage done by glaucoma. However, several treatments can slow the progression of glaucoma. Eye drops can reduce intraocular pressure, but if this fails, glaucoma surgery may be the best course of action to improve the drainage of fluids.
Ophthalmology Services Near Me
Do you suspect you have glaucoma? Please book an appointment with San Antonio Eye & Face Institute for diagnosis and treatment. We serve numerous regions, including Alamo Heights and San Antonio, TX. Call us today at (210) 485-1488 to schedule your appointment.